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The making of The Night Projectionist - by: Chad Jones

(1392 total words in this text)
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Chad here, E-I-C over at Studio 407. I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about one of our upcoming books, The Night Projectionist. One of the most interesting challenges of this book has been how to tell a vampire story that hasn't been done a million-zillion times already. From Dracula to Buffy to that episode of Buffy with Dracula in it, vampires have been a part of our collective pop-consciousness for our entire lives whether we like it or not. And as storytellers, there's a lot of baggage and preconceptions that come along with vampire stories (whether we like it or not).

So, when Bob Heske, typer of words and constructor of sentences, came to us with his pitch for The Night Projectionist, we knew we had a great story on our hands. Bob knew, like all great writers know, that it's character first. And among an ensemble cast that's almost a microcosm of small-town America, TNP has a great central character. His name is Dragos and he's a badass. And when it came time to find an artist that would capture aforementioned badassery on the page, we turned to Mr. Diego Yapur.

Deigo has a fantastic style, heavy on the blacks, which gives the artwork a lot of weight. His work has got a real sense of mood -- sort of a modern interpretation of 70s horror comics. And it was a great fit for Bob's story of a bad man in a bad situation.

So we gave Diego the script and watched as pages rolled in. And like all great stories, it begins in 18th Century Romania.

Night Projectionist

One of the only problems that I had with Diego was we had started off using a non-US format. And rather than have him redo everything we did some quick adjustments in photoshop to make them fix the standard comic size a bit better.

Night Projectionist

It was also a bit difficult to find a colorist that would compliment Diego's work. And we found a great colorist in Jorge Blanco. He did a great job in helping to bring this story of the undead to life.

Night Projectionist

We asked a lot of Diego through out this book. Lots of different locations, costumes and characters. The story starts out in a small village in Eastern Europe, where a mysterious plague decimates the population. And he did a great job in setting up the ... wait... is that an octopus?

Night Projectionist

Now, here's where working with a South American artist like Diego gets fun. The script calls for "tentacles to cocoon it's victims in thin tendrils of flesh..." And something got a bit lost in translation. Easy fix, but it's one of those great moments as an editor that you'll always, always remember.

Night Projectionist

And in color.

Night Projectionist

In the next page, as the priest addresses his congrgation, I felt that we weren't really getting a sense of the church or the crowd (every artist's favorite). So we asked Diego to take another crack at it.

Night Projectionist

You might also notice some subtle changes like in panel 4, showing more or characters' faces.

Night Projectionist

Night Projectionist

Notice the extra work that Diego did between the pencils and the inks to help to add more to the setting.

Night Projectionist

Night Projectionist

And in the final panel, we adjusted the final file and hunched the character over a bit to give him a more defeated stance.

Night Projectionist

Okay the biggest change we made was making Dragos' hat less... well, he looked too "Eastwood" rocking the brimmed hat, so we went in another direction. Period clothing is always fun.

Night Projectionist

Night Projectionist

And in the colors, we flipped the final panel to make sure that the readers we're confusing the child with the side-kick, though colored differently, the cut of their clothing was similar.

[Colors for page 5]

Night Projectionist

So, that's a look behind the curtain of the Night Projectionist. This has been a fun project to work on and I can't wait for you to see it. I look forward to hearing what you guys think about it. The first issue hits shelves this March. Enjoy.

Thanks for reading,

Chad Jones -- Studio 407, Editor-In-Chief

Find out more about this comic at Studio 407.

Comment on The Making of The Night Projectionist.




  

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